Or maybe you can teach me some stuff instead! I’d like that.
Tomorrow, at the Decatur Book Festival, I’ll be leading a workshop. I’m mainly going to focus on why/how character needs to be the driving force in a book. We’ll talk about why you can’t usually begin with a plot.
In prepping myself, I’ve gone and re-read the awesome Bill Matthews essay called Dull Subjects. And that inspired me to make this ridiculous claim:
THERE ARE ONLY FOUR PICTURE BOOKS YOU ARE ALLOWED TO WRITE IN THE WORLD! (not counting educational books, bible stories, and other purpose-driven tales, or really old fables in which people die and stuff. We don’t stand for that anymore.)
The four picture books you can write (and expect to publish) are:
- Someone (or something) cute has a problem, and then solves it
- Someone (or something) cute has a problem, and feels safe in the world when someone else solves it.
- Someone (or something) unappealing is transformed. Yay!
- A series of seemingly random events end nicely, usually in bed.
Eh? Eh? Prove me wrong.